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Villainous Breakdown / Animated Films

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  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • At the end of Disney's animated The Great Mouse Detective (see the image on the right), Ratigan goes from being a smarmy, smug intellectual to a feral, crazed rat, savagely attacking Basil. Although he does have quick seconds of losing his cool throughout the film, he is just as quickly able to recover and be calm and collected. But when Basil both humiliates Ratigan in front of dozens of aristocrats and saves and reunites Olivia and her father (whom Ratigan had been keeping separate for most of the movie), Ratigan breaks down.
      • This is a particularly interesting example, as rather than suffering from Villain Decay because of it, this scene is made one of the more terrifying in the film, and even becomes the closest this villain gets to actually killing the hero.
    • In 101 Dalmatians, Cruella De Vil's sanity slowly whittles away over the course of the film, as her obsession with making a fur coat out of the Dalmatian puppies evidently goes to her head. It begins after the Radcliffes refuse to sell her the puppies and she makes it clear to them that she is Not Good with Rejection. It continues to erode when she becomes impatient with her Mooks, Horace and Jasper, to get the job of skinning the dogs done, and, soon after, when they discover the dogs missing and have to hunt for them. And she will not take no for an answer. Eventually, what little sanity remaining in Cruella is completely spent during the climatic Chase Scene. The fact that she has completely lost it becomes especially acute after she ragingly drives her car out of a ditch and through some thorny bushes, trashing the car pretty good in the process. Clearly, by this time, it is either the dogs or her — and she doesn't care who gets in her way, as she tries to force the van the dogs are hiding off the road. And when her mooks' rickety old truck accidentally t-bones her already-trashed-car, destroying both cars completely and leaving Cruella and her henchmen adrift amid the wreckage, Cruella ravingly bawls them out and breaks down sobbing, to which Jasper has long since had enough and tells her, "Ahhh, shaddup!"
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    • The Aristocats: Edgar. He may start out as a typical Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain (though there are speculations that he was going to drown Duchess and her kittens in a river) but as the film goes on he becomes more desperate that he not only tries to ship the for-mentioned protagonists to Timbuktu but also try to kill O'Malley and the alley-cats when they were coming to the rescue.
    • The Rescuers: While Madame Medusa wasn't all that stable to begin with, she really begins to lose it at the film's climax, as Penny escapes with the Devil's Eye sewn into her teddy bear. She shows that she will stop at nothing to keep the diamond, even going so far as to grab onto the rope dragging behind her swampmobile and use her pet alligators as water skis while whipping them in order to go faster. Then, as Penny and the mice finally make their getaway aboard the swampmobile, she is left hanging from the stack of her sinking steamboat home, sobbing over the loss of her precious diamond while the aforementioned alligators snap at her heels, having had enough of her abuse.
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    • Sykes in Oliver & Company. While he's mainly calm throughout the movie, in the climactic car chase he pulls down the gear stick so hard it breaks off, and punches his hand through his car's window to get at the heroine.
    • The Little Mermaid: Ursula towards the end after Ariel destroys her eel pets, effectively triggering her One-Winged Angel transformation, which involves her growing to GIGANTIC size and speaking in a deep voice. Also, when she transforms into Vanessa, it is implied that she lost quite a bit of sanity (to the point of becoming a borderline Ax-Crazy) when turning into her, as she talks to her mirror in a manner similar to a schizophrenic, emits a psychotic grin when throwing a pin at a mirror's head with enough velocity to knock the mirror back, and most certainly tries to kill a person had that been a human being, and her cackling. Vanessa gets another one later when her attempt to wed the hypnotized Prince Eric is sabotaged by an attack from Scuttle and his animal friends. She screams, curses, messes up her hair...and then realizes she has begun to speak in Ursula's voice just as the sun is setting.
    • In Beauty and the Beast, Gaston increasingly goes from being a Jerkass Stalker with a Crush into an unhinged and unrestrained Yandere. It's especially evident after Belle keeps refusing him but the last straw was when he discovers that she prefers a literal beast than him.
      Gaston: If I didn't know any better, I think you'd have feelings for this monster.
      Belle: (enraged) He's not the monster, GastonYOU ARE!
      Gaston: (taken aback, then lapses into full Tranquil Fury mode) Have it your way.
    • In Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, Forte goes absolutely nuts and loses what remaining sanity he had left at the climax of the film because he thinks that he's no longer important.
    • Jafar has this after learning that Aladdin took back the lamp at the Cave of Wonders. And then very twistedly in his spouting off his Hurricane of Puns during the climactic battle, he is obviously growing impatient with Aladdin's refusal to die but is also enjoying it. His biggest one is in his Big "NO!" when he realizes that he's a slave to the lamp after becoming an all-powerful genie. Subverted earlier on when Jafar starts laughing maniacally after being exposed for the Evil Chancellor he is. Iago thinks he's cracked in the former, but in reality, he realized that Prince Ali is actually Aladdin.
    • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, when Judge Claude Frollo sees that Esmeralda's alive, he stops pretending to be Quasimodo's loving parent and reveals to him how his mother died trying to save him. After that, he mercilessly persues and tries to kill both him and Esmeralda, with a scary Slasher Smile. At the end, he cuts through a statue, which takes him to his doom.
    • In Atlantis: The Lost Empire, as Rourke attempts to escape with the MacGuffin in the midst of an attack by Atlantean fliers, he slowly loses the calm demeanor he had sported throughout the rest of the movie, sporting one hell of a Slasher Smile and attacking Milo with a fire axe. And he gets worse when Milo cuts his arms with a crystal shard, turning him into a shrieking crystal beast.
      Rourke: Well, I have to hand it to you, you're a bigger pain in the neck than I ever would have thought possible. I consider myself an even-tempered man; it takes a lot to get under my skin, but congratulations! You just won the solid gold kewpie doll!
    • The Princess and the Frog: Dr. Facilier, during his final moments, devolves from a smooth, charismatic, and calm con-man into a screaming and frantically panicking wreck begging for his life as the voodoo spirits he owed a debt to drag him off to the Other Side.
      Voodoo spirits: ARE YOU READY?
      Dr. Facilier: No! I'm not ready at all!
    • In Wreck-It Ralph when King Candy is revealed to be the missing World Hopping character Turbo, he flips out as he attempts to kill Vanellope during their climatic race.
    • Hans in Frozen: After witnessing Elsa's escape from the castle dungeon before he can murder her, he gets so pissed off that he pursues her into the blizzard in order to do so at any cost.
      • Also in Frozen, after learning that Arendelle has cut its trading ties with his kingdom for his attempted assassination and the insulting remarks he made about Elsa, the Duke of Weselton flips out when Kai deliberately mispronounces his name "Weaseltown."
  • In The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina the Mole King goes Ax-Crazy when Thumbelina rejects him and chooses Tom instead and when Tom smashes his High-Class Glass that allows him to see.
  • Cat R. Waul of An American Tail: Fievel Goes West starts out with all the grace and sophistication a Villain with Good Publicity needs. Even when the heroes come to take him down, he calmly sics his men on them. But once his trap has been exposed for all, this quickly gives way.
    Cat R. Waul: Freeze, you miserable vermin! (starts shooting madly)
  • In Anastasia when Anya smashes Rasputin's Soul Jar he completely loses it as his minions attack him.
  • Antz
    Cutter: This is for the good of the colony. [extends hand to Z]
    General Mandible: You useless, ungraceful MAGGOT! I AM THE COLONY!
  • Balto: After getting his team hopelessly lost in a blizzard, literal Glory Hound Steele can only sit and pout. Balto arrives to the rescue, but Steele goes completely insane and tries to kill Balto, believing that the "glory" of saving the children belongs only to him. The fight ends with Steele falling off a cliff, but surviving. As Steele climbs back up to see Balto leading the sled team away, Steele deliberately sabotages Balto's trail, clearly not caring for the sick children who desperately need the medicine that's being carried by the sled team. Steele gets back to Nome alone, claims that Balto was the one who attacked him, and that the medicine is lost thanks to Balto. But when Balto and the sled team make it back to town with the medicine in spite of Steele's efforts at sabotage, Steele instantly gets a mass Death Glare from every dog in Nome. Steele is ultimately reduced to a a hated outcast by all those who had once looked up to him.
  • Hopper in A Bug's Life has two: first, when the fake bird is exposed and the ants then stand up to the grasshoppers; second and more acutely, when his taking Flik hostage is thwarted by Atta and Hopper gives chase, viciously pursuing Flik to an actual bird's nest, where Hopper doesn't think that the birds are real until it's too late.
  • Happens to Miles Axlerod at the end of Cars 2 as a result of Mater exposing him as the villain behind the evil plot of the exploding race cars. He then goes crazy for a while before finally being forced to deactivate the Time Bomb he placed on the tow truck (it's voice activated, meaning that only he can turn it off properly) as a final attempt to kill him.
  • Darla Dimple of Cats Don't Dance gets a big one at the end of the film. Darla's attempts to sabotage Danny and company's big stage show actually helps them by making the show more grand than they intended. At the end — frazzled, exhausted, and completely infuriated — Darla crawls up to Danny and, in front of the audience, makes the fatal mistake of outing herself as the one who sabotaged his earlier attempt when she calls Danny out for upstaging her one last time. This ranting gets picked up by a microphone and broadcast to the entire audience. This leads to Darla's true nature being shown all over Hollywood and having her fame and stardom taken away from her, while the animals finally get their shot at stardom.
    Darla: Stupid, stupid cat! I'm the star! I should've drowned you all when I flooded the stage!
  • Chicken Run: As Mrs. Tweedy tries to stop the chickens from escaping, wielding an axe, Rocky knocks her out and the chickens all manage to escape. But when Mrs. Tweedy comes to, she lets loose with primal rage and goes Ax-Crazy in her determination to stop the chickens in general and execute Ginger in particular with the axe. And after they escape for good, when Mr. Tweedy sheepishly tells his wife, "I told you they was organized," Mrs. Tweedy simply roars at her husband through gnashed teeth.
  • Coraline. The Other Mother is normally a creepy Stepford Smiler. She loses her fragile composure after Coraline refuses to apologize to her and after Coraline throws the cat at her face and it claws off her button eyes. Also, when Coraline is escaping to the real world from the other world the Other Mother loses it and screams "DON'T LEAVE ME! DON'T LEAVE ME! I'LL DIE, I'LL DIE WITHOUT YOU!!!!!!" Also, after Coraline and Wybie destroy the Other Mother's severed hand and throw it inside the well along with the sole key to the Other World, if you listen closely, you can hear the Other Mother whispering 'No'.
  • Lord Barkis Bittern from Corpse Bride after finding out that Victoria is poor after he married her and especially at the end where he has a major Freak Out! moment after he dies from accidentally drinking poison and the dead attack him.
  • Dark Fury. After Riddick has killed most of Antonia's minions and foiled her plan to have him turned into part of her art collection, she attacks him in a shrieking frenzy and noticeably dishevelled before Jack kills her.
  • General Hein in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was never the most balanced individual, but he rapidly loses what marbles he did have when given permission to fire the Zeus Cannon. He continues to fire the cannon even though it is overheating, ignoring all warnings.
    Warning: System Overload.
    Hein: I know.
    Warning: System Overload.
    Hein: I know!
    Warning: System Overload.
    Hein: I! KNOW!
    • After the predictable happens, Hein just sits at the firing control while the whole damn thing explodes around him, fruitlessly attempting to get the doomed superweapon to fire one last shot. Then the primary bridge crashes into the room he's in.
  • In G.I. Joe: The Movie, when Cobra Commander is given "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Destro, the Baroness, Tomax and Xamot, the Commander flips out, crying out "UNSUBSTANTIATED FANTASY! LIES! LIES! LIIIIIIIIIIIIES!"
  • Ice Age 4: Continental Drift After Manny and the gang steal his ship to get back home, Captain Gutt is so furious, it's quite obvious he's lost a huge amount of his sanity. He later beats Manny and the gang to the continent and takes Ellie & Peaches hostage, stating that Manny took everything he had from him, and the evil ape intended to do the same.
    • Later during the battle when Precious vanquishes his crew, only Gutt dodges them, now not caring about his crew. Then he attempts to kill Ellie but not before Peaches kicks him to the wall. Finally losing what's left of his sanity, Gutt then blocks Manny's path to return to his family, just as a landmass sends both of them hundreds of feet high.
    Gutt: Told ya, Tubby. You shouldn't have messed with the Master of the Seas!
  • In Kung Fu Panda, Tai Lung's composure really starts to fall apart once he sees the Dragon Scroll he so coveted. Instead of fighting intelligently and using environment to his advantage, like he did in every fight before, he single-mindedly pursues the scroll, losing more and more of his cool, as Po starts to give him problems. After he obtains the Dragon Scroll and finds it to be blank, he suffers from this full out, and it just gets more intense after he discovers his pressure point technique to be ineffectual against Po, causing him to throw all semblance of strategy and martial arts mastery out the window, and after getting beaten and barely able to get up and stumble around, he just keeps rambling and trying to fight back.
    • In the sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2, it was pretty clear that Shen wasn't fully sane to begin with, barely keeping his mood swinging together for most of the movie. But Po appearing as Shen is about to sail to triumph seems to result in the peacock finally losing it; while he remains sane, he kicks the Attack! Attack! Attack! strategy he'd employed with his cannons up to 11, even willing to fire on his own fleet to clear out all obstacles and casually knifing The Dragon when he refuses. This results in Shen refusing to cease using his cannons even when Po has perfected the catch and return technique, resulting in a pretty epic Oh, Crap! when Po's final returned shot makes a yin-yang symbol before striking his flagship. When Po confronts him on his ship after crippling it, he finds Shen completely stunned by both the fact everything he created has been destroyed and the fact that Po managed to overcome his traumatic past and find inner peace. When Po explains it to him, he snaps and tries to kill Po. Unlike Tai Lung, however, Shen doesn't lose his head, managing Tranquil Fury despite his breakdown, resulting in a much more even fight.
      • This is most likely due to the Soothsayer's prediction starting to come to pass and by this point Shen is getting desperate to change it. His Mind Screw didn't work and force is his only option. You can sense it in Shen's voice when he ask how Po overcame his trauma. Even if its calm, his ambition has been left in ruins and he's got nothing to lose. Leading to the final assault and ultimately death at his own hands.
    • Kung Fu Panda 3: Kai loses what little sanity he has left when Po manages to drag them back to the Spirit World. Not only is he clearly furious, nearly all his comedic traits vanish. When he fails to turn Po into a Jombie, he charges at the panda in an absolute rage.
    Kai: It took me 500 years to take Oogway's chi. I will have yours even if it takes me 500 MORE!
  • The Lion King (2019): Once Scar is outed as the one who murdered Mufasa, his Faux Affably Evil façade quickly slips away, to the point of roaring at his hyena army to kill Simba and the lionesses. His final battle with Simba shows that his mind has really slipped.
    Scar: This is MY kingdom! MY DESTINY!
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, Sunset Shimmer is looking very uncertain, like she might even be open to a truce, after Twilight Sparkle calls her bluff — at least until Twilight's friends start praising her as the sort of leader Sunset wanted to be regarded as, causing her to snap and forcefully wrench the crown from Twilight and her friends. It's also implied her Villainous Breakdown was part of the reason the crown transformed her into a demon upon her putting it on her head, as her own rage and resentment at Twilight finally came to the front full-force and caused the Element of Magic to reflect what it saw within her heart. If nothing else, it was certainly the point she took several levels in insanity and evil, going from someone who refused to harm Spike to willingly attempting to kill Twilight with a fireball.
  • Mojo Jojo gets a massive one in The Powerpuff Girls Movie after all his Uplifted Animal minions turn against him, and goes on a huge rant while engaging in Hurricane of Euphemisms for the first time. In fact because of that as well as his Villain Decay following this episode, it seems the Villainous Breakdown actually stuck.
    NOOOOOOOOOO! Stop! Cease! Desist! Do not continue with your ramblings, for MY ramblings are the ramblings to be obeyed, for I am the king, supreme leader and all-around dictator! Don't - you - see? All you monkeys are my plan, so your plans are my plans because you make plans and my plan was to make you! I plan to rule the planet! NOT to have my plans plan to stop ME! I AM YOUR CREATOR! I AM YOUR KING! I AM MOJO JOJO! OBEY MEEEEEEE!
  • The Prince of Egypt: In a very tragic example, Rameses snaps after the death of his son, riding after Moses and the Hebrews and, when they try to escape him through the Red Sea, he shouts to his men "Kill them! KILL THEM ALL!" The last of him seen in the film is him screaming in rage and agony, cursing Moses.
  • One of the few cases where this actually happens in the first movie and leads into the second: villainous cockatoo Nigel loses his feathers in Rio and ends up suffering all sorts of humiliation as well as not being able to fly again. The minute he sees Blu and Jewel again in Rio 2, he snaps (complete with flashback) and spends the entire movie going to all sorts of lengths to hunt them down.
  • Rock-A-Doodle: The Grand Duke of Owls stops being a Large Ham near the end of the film upon Chanticleer's return to the farm —which threatens to end his Perpetual Storm on the farmland— and starts using his magic with surprisingly lethal intent. Among other things, he transforms into a giant tornado, tries to drown Chanticleer with a waterspout, and strangles Edmond to near-death.
  • Rock & Rule. Mok has a spectacular breakdown when his climactic demon-summoning plan goes badly awry:
    "The magic of one voice!...of one soul!...But there is...NO...ONE!..."
    • It's also foreshadowed in his crazed rampage after Angel comprehensively spurns his advances...
    Mok: ...she can sing, or she can SCREAM!!!...but she still pissed me off.
  • Shrek: Lord Farquaad was already enraged at Shrek interrupting his wedding with Fiona, but upon Fiona revealing her ogress form, Farquaad snaps and orders his guards to imprison her and Shrek and sought to be a king by force. However, Shrek manages to get a hand free and whistles loudly, and Dragon bursts through the window and swallows Farquaad in one gulp, while the congregation cheers.
    • Shrek 2: The Fairy Godmother loses what remaining sanity she has Infuriated by the romance between Shrek and Fiona, she throws a curse at them only for King Harold to intercept and reflect it back at her with his armor, disintegrating her into thousands of bubbles.
    • Shrek the Third: Prince Charming, enraged that Artie encouraged his fellow villains to preform Heel-Face Turns, tries to kill Artie, only for Shrek to intervene and toss Charming aside, and Dragon knocks over the stage tower, which falls on top of Charming, crushing him to death.
    • Shrek Forever After: Determined not to let Shrek reclaim Fiona's love for him and nullify Rumpelstiltskin's contract, Rumpel becomes more and more enraged in his determination to keep the alternate timeline the dystopia it is. When Shrek succeeds in reclaiming Fiona's true love's kiss, nullifying the contract, Rumpel starts begging for more time like a hysterical baby as his whole alternate reality disappears before his very eyes.
  • Toy Story:
    • Stinky Pete in Toy Story 2. "'Fair'?! I'll tell you what's not fair: Spending a lifetime on a dime-store shelf watching every other toy be sold! Well, finally my waiting has paid off, and no hand-me-down cowboy doll is gonna mess it up for me now!"
    • Lotso in Toy Story 3 is all smiles and unctuous charm, even after it's been revealed how nasty he is. Then, in their climactic confrontation, Woody brings up the subject of his previous owner, which gets Lotso increasingly riled until he finally screams "We're all just trash, waiting to be thrown away! THAT'S ALL A TOY IS!"
  • Synoamess Botch from Twice Upon a Time goes absolutely ballistic when his evil plot is foiled by Ralph. He then becomes terrified by the threat of a leftover nightmare bomb going off in his face, leading to a particularly epic reaction that nearly sends him falling to his death via an open window right behind him.....only to be grabbed by the quite-upset vulture minions he verbally abused earlier. Regardless, the eventual outcome's not looking good for Botch. By the way, said bomb is really Ralph's buddy Mumford in disguise.
    Synoamess Botch (hysterical) NO! NEVER! IT'S TOO MUCH TO BEAR! I WANT MY BLANKIE! I WANT MY MAMA! (falls screaming out an open window)
  • In the Wallace & Gromit cartoon "A Matter of Loaf and Death", Wallace's washed-up bread spokeswoman turned baker-killing love interest, Piella Bakewell, apparently loses it after her plot to kill Wallace is foiled. She tries to fly away in the old Bake-O-Lite balloon, despite her growing too heavy to fly the balloon being the reason she was fired in the first place, and she babbles "They can't drop me, I'm the Bake-O-Lite Girl!" even as she descends into a pit of hungry crocodiles at the zoo, which is followed by the sound of Piella being eaten alive.
  • AUTO in WALL•E sums up the trope with one sequence. The captain has raised the Holo-Imager on the lido deck, so AUTO knocks him aside and hits the button to retract it. WALL•E blocks it from retracting with his body. AUTO hits the button again, and when it still hasn't gone down, he hits the button so hard and rapidly it cracks, and then tasers it. When the Captain advances on AUTO, his taser is turned on him.
  • Yellow Submarine: The Chief Blue Meanie has a breakdown following Max's zinger after the Beatles have sung life back into Pepperland:
    Chief: (calmly) Hark...the hills are alive...
    Max: (sung) With The Sound of Music...(Chief clocks him)
    • He'd later go into a spasm and be placated with "nasty medicine".


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